A qualitative lens on the sources of stress and coping pattern of caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder

Somdeb Mitra, Aditi Bhattacharya, Debalina Mitra, Nilanjana Sanyal


Introduction: In the Indian context, mothers of individuals having Autism Spectrum Disorder often have to face high degrees of stress due to the strenuous role of caregiving as well as the nature of disability itself. Societal factors can also contribute as stressors. Clinicians might feel at loss about how to intervene the distress of such clients as it would be mostly inappropriate to label their distress in terms of classical models of psychopathology.

Method: The current research aimed to rely on the participants’ perceptions and hence, relied on qualitative methods. Semi-structured interviews were done with professionals as well as caregivers of ASD individuals. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcripts were analyzed using appropriate methods.

Results: Findings reveal that all caregivers experience significant stress, especially in the initial years. However, with time they tend to develop effective coping maneuvers. Several factors could be identified which helped as well as hindered their process of coping.

Conclusion: It was concluded that viewing the struggle of the caregivers from an empathetic-humanistic approach could be the most effective way to help them heal.  

Keywords: Stress, Coping, Caregivers of Autism Spectrum Disorder


Stress, Coping, Caregivers of Autism Spectrum Disorder

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ISSN: 2454-6623